Earlier this month, students from Cartwright Central Public School in Blackstock participated in Global Read Aloud, an interactive exercise where guest readers such as parents, Trustee Carolyn Morton and DDSB Director Lisa Millar were invited to read to students as they connected online with other students locally and across North America.
Teacher Ryan Tindale used Global Read Aloud (GRA) to digitally link his Grades 4/5 class, through Skype, to students in North Carolina, Maine, Iowa, Virginia, northern Saskatchewan, Missouri, Idaho, New Jersey and Durham as they connected through lessons using one book a week.
Tindale, who has led the charge to connect his students across borders, was pleased he was able to link his students with others across North America involved in the same learning experience.
"We participated in the Global Read Aloud with thousands of other classrooms all reading The Wild Robot. We made a goal of connecting with a dozen schools over our six week period and actually connected with eighteen schools in six weeks," said Tindale.
Tindale wanted to make sure DDSB students in other schools also had an opportunity to be part of the initiative. "I connected with eight DDSB teachers and sent out weekly email blasts sharing ideas. A few teachers replied contributing their own ideas," said Tindale
"We've sent postcards to other classes in Whitby, Idaho, and Missouri. We've skyped schools around the continent. We've used a chatroom with a private school in Virginia where my students learned about uniforms and paying for school and we've used discussion boards with classes in Maine, New Jersey, and five other states," said Tindale.
"It was really cool knowing different schools were doing the same thing as us," said Cartwright Central Grade 4 student Charlotte.
Addyson, a Grade 5 student in Mr. Tindale's class echoes Charlotte's thoughts. "My favourite memory of the GRA was using Skype to discuss the book with other classes. It was so much fun. I wish it didn't have to end."
DDSB schools answering the call and sharing in the experience of Global Read Aloud include Rosebank Road PS; Clara Hughes PS; Sherwood PS and Sir William Stephenson PS.
"The 18 connections so far are all above and beyond, but when I click that Skype button or a student sees another student typing from 2000 km away, and their faces light up, it makes it worth it," said Tindale.